Gators one win away from Oklahoma City

Behind senior Lauren Haeger’s two-hitter, the No. 1-seeded University of Florida softball team (54-6) blanked Kentucky (33-25) on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd (1,739) in Game 1 of an NCAA Super Regional, 7-0 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

The Peoria, Ariz. product improved to 27-1 on the season and has now tossed 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings against the Wildcats. Offensively, UF was led by freshman Kayli Kvistad, who notched her seventh career three-RBI game.

UF jumped on the Wildcats early, as the Gators plated four runs in the bottom of the first inning on three hits.

Florida loaded the bases following a pair of singles by junior Kelsey Stewart and freshman Nicole DeWitt and a walk from junior Kirsti Merritt. Junior Taylore Fuller was then hit-by-a-pitch to plate Stewart and give UF a 1-0 lead. Kvistad then bashed a bases-clearing double over UK’s right fielder to give UF a 4-0 advantage.

The Gators never looked back.

Behind great defense and standout pitching from Haeger, UF held the Wildcats to just two base runners to secure the Game 1 victory.

Florida tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth, as Haeger blasted a solo homer and Merritt hit a two-run bomb to give UF a commanding 7-0 lead. Bailey Castro reached base before Merritt’s long ball as she was hit by a pitch.

Those homers were the 16th and ninth jacks of the season for Haeger and Merritt, respectively.

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